‘Dexter’ Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:24 pm,

dexter season 6 promo Dexter Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

After a relatively hit or miss fifth year installment, the Dexter season 6 premiere serves as a welcome breath of fresh air to the series, by not only fulfilling the lofty promises made by producers that this season would return the hit drama to the familiar thematic form that garnered such critical claim early on, but by also gracefully maturing every element of the program through the masterful handling of an extremely difficult (and often misused) televisual faux pas.

Wrapped in a 12-month “time jump,” Dexter, our favorite knife wielding vigilante, is relieved of any and all emotional repercussions from the horrific death of his wife Rita, and the misguided pseudo-love of Lumen. These story-arcs, while certainly serving as concussive conclusions for anticipatory character growth (through forced responses to the presented environments) ultimately led to a progression standstill that started with the series’ core focus, Dexter, but then continued throughout every other facet of the series.

While the stereotypical time jump is typically used as a proverbial “get out of jail free” card to artificially establish some forward momentum to a series, without having to actually execute a coherent arc to sidestep whatever issues were ultimately becoming problematic, the producers of Dexter decided to make one of the most earnest uses of a “time jump” ever seen on television by completely redefining each character and clearly representing that evolution has occurred, even though we were not witness to it.

By kicking off the season premiere with a story revolving around Dexter’s high school reunion and a love once lost (and now, murdered) – which leads to everyone’s favorite blood splatter analyst reveling in his perceived success and “busting a move” on the dance floor – it’s made clear that while a story may have an emotional connection to Dexter, it no longer inhibits his ability to satisfy his Dark Passenger. The notion that Dexter must simply survive these situational occurrences is replaced by a renewed drive to adapt to them.

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And adapt, he does. By not only figuring out the best way to overcome whatever obstacle may stand before either of his personalities, but by also earnestly establishing the necessary relationships needed in order to do so. Even though many of these relationships serve no other purpose than to help drive Dexter’s core desires, the fact that he’s “using” these relationships and not simply “abusing” them certainly helps progress the character into an extremely compelling position, all while allowing for further occurrences of growth and depth for each new circumstance.

Taking on another complicated matter, but showing another example of the series’ new-found confidence in its ability to execute a story-arc, no matter the subject matter, is the positioning of Dexter as someone who’s attempting to become more spiritual, but without the need to attach any specific religious affiliation in order to do so. While this element is only slightly touched upon in the premiere, the subsequent episodes delve into it further. Though, the mocking of God, as his victim attempts to explain the “rules” of his faith, certainly speaks to the fact that Dexter isn’t attempting to find a divine creator, but to better understand himself and the world around him.

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Returning to some familiar elements of past seasons, the official “big bads” of season 6 were only briefly noted in the premiere. While it’s always wonderful to see Dexter come face to face with someone that’s positioned as his equal, there was a sense that it felt a bit rushed last season. Even though these two spiritual warriors (that will be better understood in next week’s episode) provide an interesting take to their killings, it’s going to take some time before enough is established to make Dexter take notice of their actions, and, more importantly, connect them to their victims.

To say what transpired during the course of Dexter season 5 was problematic would be largely unfair, though the unfortunate signs of what may result from it were clearly present. The series, as a whole, was attempting to push through the inevitable growing pains that any show its age feels. What made this transition even more complicated was that Dexter was coming off of a series high (with season 4) and the producers where attempting to fill the void left by showrunner Chip Johnson.

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Instead of using Dexter as the vehicle to covey the story (which, in turn, would have provided the needed closure and growth that many would have wanted), they decided to use Lumen as a supplemental avatar. While not a terrible idea on its own, it was certainly a departure from what the series originally started out as… and where the series should be going – especially at this age.

Fortunately, Dexter season 6 appears to be a step in the right direction that will not only help rectify some of the major problems that arose from last season, but will also make sure that Dexter, as a series, is perfectly positioning itself to continue for the foreseeable future.

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Dexter airs Sundays @9pm on Showtime

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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65 Comments

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  1. That was an awesome episode. If the rest of the season stays that good then it will be a great season. Loved the snakes. Also loved adding Colin Hanks.

  2. if dexter murders christians the whole time im in

    • Not cool

  3. The banter he had with his victims reminds me of the old Dexter, and was very refreshing to see

  4. A definite return to form. The problem is that the show cannot possibly top season 4, ever. There will never be another big bad as scary and evil as Trinity.

    I think it would be great for Deb to find uot the truth this season and then finish in season 7. But give the show a truly great ending, something huge and amazing.

    • I agree DSB, however my favorite episodes were with Doakes at the beginning but looking at the eventual ending to the series Deb should find out.

  5. I don’t want to hate, because this is (was?) my favorite show on television, but I am not loving the new format. I am not a fan of the proverbial get out of jail free by using a time jump approach. i think that if your going that route, you should consider that the show has reached its end and needs to conclude. From what I can deduce based off of this season’s first episode, there will be yet another season (after this one) of Dexter.

    While I did think that the episode was bold and fresh, I feel that Dexter (the character) went back a step without explanation. Dexter was consistently becoming more and more human these past 5 seasons, understanding and connecting more with people, and fitting into society more and more and this season seems to have undone that. What explanation were we given for this? I feel duped and as if the past 5 seasons had no point in the progression of Dexter.

  6. I was truly disappointed with the Season 6 Premiere. Clunky isn’t a strong enough description.

    Why was Dexter, a blood splatter analyst, showing up for a floater at the beach?

    The snakes were fresh water snakes and, if the body was in the ocean for any length of time, they would have died.

    Why the man in Kevlar shooting everyone at a bar, for no reason?

    What’s with the over-use of cell phones?

    The whole paramedic thing was very contrived. Two at once???? What is Dexter like Batman now?

    The sub-par writers seem to be depending on an anti-christian hook. They are clearly hoping that the show will be a success as long as they continue to bash Christianity. However, Dexter is NOT a good guy. He’s a murderer, so why would anyone take advice from him????

    • Kind of agree with some of the clunkiness in the kills though I liked the episode in general.

      Two kills at once, while leaving his voice on a 911 call to get the paramedics there? This is not something Dexter of seasons past would do.

      Kill a guy at his high school reunion while using another persons phone , that disappeared when she was last with him, for a fake text? Like this isn’t an evidence trail that could be followed?

      Seems they are playing very loose with Dexter’s code that was built on leaving no trace back to him. Nice to see him killing again, just sloppy writing in the execution of these kills that doesn’t jive with the Dexter of previous seasons.

    • Totally agree. I was very disappointed. Feels like a totally different set of writers and different director. Who aren’t as good.

      • Agreed, that episode was full of holes, everything he did left obvious trails back to him. Very very sloppy, the writers arent even trying to be smart about it, they’re just throwing events out there they think will “look cool”. Grrr.

  7. Also playing football while looking to the sidelines for his Dad’s approval was pathetic. Same with the dancing.

  8. Dexter is a bit like Batman now. Which is a good thing in my book.
    All show could benefit from a little influence from the bat.

    Just imagine how much better the Andy Griffith Show could of been if Barney had put on a cowl every now and then to scare Otis and keep him from being publicly intoxicated?

    • Haha… Otis “saw” so many crazy things when he was drunk. Even Batman couldn’t shaken him.

  9. Great first episode. The writers are top notch. Dont agree with you on last yr as I thought it was terrific as was every season of this great show.

  10. Hammertime!

  11. Sorry but Season 4 was greatly over rated in my humble opinion… Dexter is a solid series plain and simple. Every season brings a new theme. I enjoyed Season 5 with that creepy Take It – Jordan Chase. I get that a lot of folks loved Trinity but I’m in the minority- it dragged and I also felt the story line with Trinity’s daughter was sloppy. I also loved Seasons 1 and 2 with Doakes , the Ice Truck Killer and crazy Lila. With that said- I’m looking forward to this season.

    • Agree…..I felt season 4 was one of the weaker seasons. I like Lithgow, but Trinity killer wasn’t one of their better bad guys and Rita as a season long wet blanket had me subconsciously glad she was offed at the end.

      I liked Lumen and Jordan Chase season 5 story line better than season 4.

  12. I thought it was a great premiere, agree they could have left out the two paramedics at the beginning and the bar shooting, but it looks good and creepy Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks look interesting.

    The only boring part of that show to me is DeLaguata–she seems to just take up space.

    • If you didn’t understand the bar shooting, it will probably play out in Deb getting the promotion. Video will go viral and the city will need a hero political crap that will get her the job.

      Thats what I think.

      • i think the video will go viral…the guy she shot friends or family member will go after her to get revenge…she always gets in trouble..they must come up with a thing to get her in trouble everytime

  13. I love Dexter. But this first episode, made me wishing for some Family Guy..

  14. I loved the premier, I loved the class reunion, I loved the snakes, and I look forward to the entire season. Dexter has truly returned to form and I’m loving it. I didn’t dislike season five, but I did have some issues with some of the story arch’s. I understand that the theme of season five was based on atonement but there were too many story lines going on for my liking. I feel the season should have concentrated more on Jordon Chase and less on Lumen.

  15. @sodapop
    I think you’re picking things apart a little bit too much? Why does it matter how frequently they use cellphones? I don’t think anyone else even noticed something so insignificant.. And the shooting was within the last ten minutes of the episode, I’m sure there will be an explanation next week. Dexter has always been like Batman, wasn’t anything new.

    • Because in death or missing person cases, they will look at the phone records. In past episodes Dexter didn’t use the phone a lot, when comitting his crimes…

  16. I think this season is going to be great. Reading through some of peoples points I feel a lot of you aren’t taking your critics and backing them up with facts. First off, taking out 2 paramedics isn’t impossible if you think the guy is on the ground with a stab injury. In fact, why would your guard be up when your intention is to help the person. It makes sense to me. As for the bar shooting, we live in a world where things like that CAN happen and to dismiss it being possible is just ignorant. It’s pretty clear they needed a way to stall the “Will you marry me” to build up tension for the coming episodes. As for the snakes in the body, they lived because well….their inside a body and not in the salt water? I wish people would get facts straight before throwing critics into such small points because at the end of the day, the writers did their homework…and I suggest people do the same before making invalid points.

    All in all, great debut and looking forward to the rest. Who knows, maybe Colin Hanks will surpass Trinity in every way…it’s just too early to tell.

    • If the body was in the water, for any extented period of time, it would have taken in water. Young fresh water snakes would not have handled it well. It would have killed them.

      Taking out TWO paramedics is an insane risk, for someone like Dexter. If he missed, with his first shot, he would have been fighting TWO men. Dexter has always been VERY careful. This scene simply did not jibe with the Dexter I’ve gotten to know in previous episodes.

      As for thr gunmen… INSANELY OUTLANDISH…

  17. I for one LIKE the return to form, the premiere had a sense of playfullness that i felt was a bit lacking last season. i personally never liked julia stiles so i disliked lumen from the start and itd didnt change for me through the last season and it bogged things down for me, it was more about lumen than dexter for petes sake. the time jump isnt so bad considering dexter always jumps ahead in time every season, this time, just a bit more than usual. while some might dislike dexters return to his colder self, i prefer it, he was at his best as a character in the early seasons when he was confused by human emotion, and trying to understand it (not unlike spock or a robot ) and the times he did feel it were interesting because you got to see it from his outside perspective what feeling these new emotions for the first time was like. without rita, who helped dexter nurture his humanity and ‘feel’ more, espescially her death, its only logical that without something to tether him down emotionally (rita) he would begin to revert to a more emotionless person once more. i look forward to this season if this episode is a hint of whats to come.

  18. Great first episode, although the bar shooting did seem out of place, regardless of how it will fit in later.
    Great season coming up I think .. God I love this show!

  19. Has anyone noticed the increased contrast and colors in season 6? It’s not as dark as the other ones and a bit to cheesy like CSI: Miami.

    • That’s it! Cheesey…

      • I did notice the cheesiness, but hang in there–I just do not like the Christina and Catholic bashing, just saying that some people rant about.

        • meant Christian

  20. is dexter schizophrenic? i can’t find another reason to explain why his father is allways with him… an hallucination?
    any way i really liked this episode, it seems this will be a good season

    • good point

  21. I didn’t like the season premiere for several reasons mentioned on this board:

    1.) Dexter isn’t cautious like he’s always been. The batman assault on 2 paramedics and the text message was sloppy. Dex never did anything quite that stupid in previous seasons.

    2.) The dialogue and directing has a cheesy feel to it. The dialogue was better and had more purpose in previous seasons. There’s a lot of unnatural punchlines where you feel like they’re waiting for canned laughter. Did they hire some crappy writer from a sitcom?

    3.) There’s a lot of ranting against Christians, and it feels contrived like when family guy tries to be a political cartoon. Watch south park bra, that’s how to do a social commentary, not family guy. The new Dexter rants sound like they were written by a nerd trying to get approval from his smarter cooler friends, because he thinks that’s what they want to hear, and maybe they can branch out after Dexter.

    • AGREE

  22. I am very excited about this new season. I did wonder why Dexter used that cell phone. When there is an investigation into that guy’s disappearance they are going to look at this cell phone record and trace that text. That doesn’t seem like typical Dexter who leaves nothing to chance. Alot of people are complaining about that restaurant shooter, cmon people, that will most likily get an explanation in another episode. I do like this snake duo. I am interested to see how that materializes.

    • Just because it can be explaind, doesn’t mean it fit. Also, the fact that its purpose is already so clear to everyone (Deb get promoted), shows lame writing.

    • for the cell phone, he has the guys cell and destroys it along with everything else, and he just has to delete the message he sent from the girl and give her phone back. also, remember, dexter disposes of the bodies, so its not a murder to be investigated, but a missing person, who usually, no one really notices is gone. you all act like he just kills them and leaves the bodies to be found. have you all even been watching the show? dexter is a very neat monster.

      • Police don’t need your phone, to look at your phone records. What? You never got a phone bill???PHONE COMPANIES KEEP THE RECORDS!

        So, if the police are wondering where a guy went, they’ll check his phone records….

        • ok, so they check his records? then what? it shows he got a text from a girl who lost her phone? not dexter. phone companies dont save the dialouge you genius, and lets assume dexter never gives her back the phone and destroys that as well, giving her an alibi of losing the phone and leaving dexter in the clear. and again, why would police investigate?! no crime is reported, no body is found, at the most he gets a missing persons flyer and thats that, dexters kills dont lead back to him in any way or that something even happened because he leave no evidence of a crime, and if he does, its a red herring sending police in the opposite direction. also, deb getting a raise isnt hard to see, its a logical progression, does EVERYTHING on the show have to be a shock or twist? no. sometimes it just logical plot progressions for characters. and dexter isnt ‘making fun’ of religion, its from his view, and he has no beliefs. ask any athiest to tell you what they think of religion and religious people, i doubt they will have kind words. instead of picking at minor details for a show about a police employed serial killer ( SO realistic) maybe you should just sit back and suspend disbelief and enjoy.

          • I shouldn’t have to suspend my disbelief about anything. I never had to in all the other seasons. Maybe you’re too much of a fanboy?

            PHONES LEAVE RECORDS, THAT CAN BE TRACED. END OF STORY.

            What’s this about Dexter making fun of religion? When did I post that? I was just stating that the writers are clearly hoping to cash-in on that trend, rather then write something with substance.

            So far, the writers are doing a crappy job.

            • A lot of people are unhappy. Not just me. Maybe it’s because I’m actually a bigger fan-boy then you, and so I’m very disappointed with this season.

              • first off, putting things in caps doesnt make you right. yea, they keep phone records, but theres no record what what was said in the text messages (this is fact btw). destroy the phones, problem solved, simple as that. i dont know why this is such a point of argument so whatever. and discussing religion isnt a ‘trend’ its a hot topic no matter what, and if you want to have substance delving into religious belief is pretty substantial if you think about it.

                and you are aware being a fanboy is considered a negative thing being that fanboys are never pleased with anything? so in that sense, yea i guess you are a bigger fanboy than me. im more pleased with this season than i am with last, i hated the whole lumen character and feel the season would have been much better without her bogging dexter down more than rita ever did. though i did like the jordan chase storyline. I love this show , and i realize how hard it is to constantly up the ante and keep things fresh, so i dont get so pissed when i still know dexter even on a bad day is better than most of the other garbage on tv (if you want to talk about a show going to hell lets talk about heroes).

                • The police would review his records, and see who was the last person that called him. She would say that she lost her phone after having sex with Dexter.

                  Does that prove anything? No.

                  Does that give the police Dexters name? Yes.

                  It’s a bit of information Dexter wouldn’t want them to have.

                  Why are you having a hard time with that?

  23. Writers missed a great opportunity for some comic relief when Dexter killed the popular jock from his high school. After Dex killed him, we see Dexter saying “Sorry, Hammer time” which is funny because all his former classmates were dancing to the song earlier in the episode.

    But I think that scene could have been funnier. While the guy was ranting about God protecting him and how he couldn’t be killed, Dexter should have just yelled “STOP! Hammertime!”

    I think that would have gotten some huge laughs.

  24. I have no complaints with the premiere. It was perfect in the sense of reintroducing dexters background and his return to his roots of instinctive killing. It is a premiere so we simply got the basis of where this season is heading and with this whole christian cult killing the season should be very interesting. For people complaining you clearly do not know how dexter works, the season always starts of slow and gradually builds suspense from ep 6 and on, so sit tight its going to be another amazing season of dexter.

  25. I really enjoyed the last season (more so than 3), but agree that it struggled to match the height of the previous season and climax.

    Loving the religious elements brought into season 6, especially with Edward James Olmos introduced as one of the main antagonists. The premiere didn’t play too many of its cards straight up, but opened to the door to a potentially great season.

  26. Anyone notice that the blood, behind Dexter in the above picture, looks like wings?

  27. I don’t think that Dexter was mocking God when he had his victim on the table, i believe he was mocking the guys shallow faith.

    • Hmmm… Maybe.

  28. I think this season is going to destroy the franchise. It really seems like a huge dropoff from every other previous year so far. I know it’s only been two episodes but it feels really cheesy so far. Almost as if they rushed the writing and filming of this season. I’m just not buying Colin Hanks at all. If he and EJO are this seasons villian then it’s gonna be a long season :( You need a good bad guy and I think they really chose poorly. I agree withe the sloppiness of Dexter kills as well and even the appointing of Debra as LT seems stupid. I’m not liking much so far.

    • I agree with the EJO and colin hanks duo. they seem horrible and incredibly predictable. however as far as the deb being promoted i think that was great i always loved deb. As much as i love dexter it does seem like this season isnt going to be as good as the rest but we will see. overall i still always enjoy me some dex-mex!

    • I Agree Im not digging Collin Hanks role nor EJO does seem chessy I liked the Jordan Price role better more intresting, Collin looks like he going to be making mad thru the season Im glady Im not the only one who thinks both characters are kinda wack.. I was excited about season 6 but two episodes in and Im not as excited like before.. Bring it Dexter writers bring back our beloved Dexter Morgan!

  29. So far very disappointed with this season. Deb”s constant swearing is becoming tiresome. The marriage proposal, becoming a lieutenant, the silliness about Harrison & the box, just seems there does not seem to be any direction..
    Hope things change, already to boring. The Colin Hanks storyline is really stupid.

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